Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fatal Tears. The Journeys of Rupert Windfield by Stuart Fifield

Rupert Windfield is young, he is an Egyptologist but then he decided to escape from his family and even his career.

Soon he has thrown it all over for a somewhat dubious career as a tour guide on a Nile paddle steamer.

The Great War (still yet to gain the title First World War) was now a memory and, once again, wealthy were in Egypt once again, thronging to look at the remains of one of antiquities' former great civilisations.

At first, the trip is normal. Or as normal as one can expect with a varied collection of the indolent, the ignorant and the prejudiced all in the mobile hothouse that was a Nile paddle steamer.

But soon, young Winfield realises that not is all that it seems on this journey. Some of the guests have secrets, some seem to be more than they might appear at first glimpse.

Accidents start to happen. But why? What is happening? Why is it happening?

This thriller ranges through time and space amongst various locations in Africa and beyond. Stuart Fifield spent time growing up in Uganda and Kenya, where his father was a civil servant. He later lived in the Seychelles and South Africa and he was able to use his experiences as a foundation stone for his novel.

It is published in hardback at £17.99 by the Book Guild. The ISBN is 978 1 84624 872 6.

Viking Ventures by Barbara Robertson

Viking Ventures is a fictional story written by Barbara Robertson for children aged nine and upwards.

Although the book is fictional you should be aware that the historical details are very accurate as Barbara Robertson is no slouch when it comes to undertaking meticulous and detailed research for her books.

Harriet, Jake and Matthew are spending the summer holidays with their grandmother who lives in the seaside resort of Ormsthorpe.

But one storm-tossed night, under the light of a full moon, something extraordinary happens. The three siblings are magically transported back to the days of the Vikings!

They meet Olaf and Sigrid who teach them all about the ways of the Vikings.

They sorrowfully tell Jake and Matthew how their own dear children have been kidnapped during a raid and enslaved by the terrifying raiders.

And they ask their new-found friends to help rescue the children. But first, they must devise a cunning stratagem to effect the rescue.

We follow the children as they disguise themselves as Vikings, board a Viking Longship and embark on a perilous and potentially deadly secret mission to rescue the children!

The story is very well told, the author is a qualified and experienced teacher, which has certainly helped the book to become the excellent work that it is. But Barbara Robertson is also a storyteller in the ancient traditional of storytelling, which shines forth in this enchanting book.

It's a book that parents and teachers can read to children (please keep in mind that Viking history is part of the National Curriculum) or that children will be delighted to read for themselves.

There are also some evocative and excellent pencil drawings by Michael Avery.

It is a hardback book costing £9.99, published by Book Guild Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84624-873-3.

Editor: The end of the book leaves open the opportunity for the three children to enjoy further adventures in history. Here's hoping they will arrive on the bookshelves sooner, rather than later!